The Monologue Collective Review


Created by Laneikka Denne, and supported by KXT and PYT Fairfield, The Monologue Collective is a selection of monologues written and performed by young people. The collective started after Laneikka noticed that many high school students struggled to find monologues for their HSC that accurately reflect the experience of being a teenager. The Monologue Collective is theatre written for young people, by young people.

Jasper Lee-Lindsay in The Monologue Collective, 2022. Photo by Kurt Davis ©

The monologues consisted of various stories – from queer love, toxic masculinity, and private school culture, to growing up and family relationships, to space travel, and fake weed plants. At the end of the ten performances, a Q&A was run by Laneikka where the writers shared inspirations for their pieces and advice they would give to other young writers.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the monologues, but the a standout of the evening was Parker Craig’s monologue, performed by Martha Russell, about a young girl running into her absent mother at a 2000s-themed schoolies party in Byron Bay. Another highlight was the hilarious monologue written by Milena Barraclough Nesic, performed by Jasper Lee-Lindsay, about a high school kid whose friend gifted him a ‘weed plant’ (which ended up being an asparagus fern).

5 Stars.

Jollee, 17 [she/they]


These young, budding stars healed my drama kid inner child.

There is so much power in our youth – as proven by the cast, producers, and writers of The Monologue Collective presented by KXT. Their indomitable auras were so flooring and contagious. I urge producers to widen their casting and programming lenses to those who are not in their ‘adult, experienced years’.

Laila Chesterman in The Monologue Collective, 2022. Photo by Kurt Davis ©

Let’s start off with Laneikka Denne! Producer and creator of The Monologue Collective, Laneikka paved the way for this sort of recognition with her original play Dead Skin at KXT in 2021. Written when she was only seventeen, Dead Skin had so much passion, truth, raw stakes, and allure. This is the kind of scope you can expect the monologues to follow, and you could not find a more passionate, wholesome, and supportive person to champion it than Laneikka.

The idea is – young people submit monologues of varying lengths to the collective with the intention of creating a canon of monologues that their peers can use to perform during their HSC. Then we see around ten of the best performed by emerging young actors from that age group! Some stories were sharp and fun – like being pranked by your mate into thinking you’re growing weed – whereas others were empowering and impactful – like burning blazers at a private, toxic all boys school. All, however, were impressive, and had clear dramaturgy and direction. The flow of the night was perfect, with the ensemble maintaining the right amount of energy, pace, and confidence.

Nisrine Amine is exceptional in her direction and craftsmanship of blocking, beats, and storytelling. I’m so glad the cast were given her wisdom, as this has clearly catapulted their development as well rounded artists.

Isabelle Nader in The Monologue Collective, 2022. Photo by Kurt Davis ©

As always, Anjelica’s standouts were as follows! Standout writers were Nick Annas, Niranjanan Sriganeshwaran, Milena Barraclough Nesic, and Claudia Elbourne. Standout actors were Jasper Lee-Lindsay, Jesse Phillips, Harry Winsome, and Laila Chesterman. The whole, everything, all of it – was magnifique.

@ Sydney theatre casting and programming, pay attention. There is a whole demographic of stories and stars that you are missing out on. Space needs to be made.

4.5 Stars.

Anjelica, 21 [she/her]

The Monologue Collective played at KXT from the 18th to the 21st of October.